Dita Von Teese crafts a sultry goodbye for her 1939 Packard

15 May 2013

Dita Von Tesse has made her way as a 21st-century burlesque star not just on looks; she's a history buff, especially when it comes to the cars of her favorite era. Which makes her sales pitch for a 1939 Packard 12o from her personal garage authentic — and far more alluring than those for most antiques thrown into an online auction.

Von Tesse isn't a stranger to classic cars; her garage has included a '46 Ford, a '53 Cadillac and a Jaguar among many others, all of which she drove on occasion around Los Angeles, and all of which she bought with value in mind. "I like having old things around me because there’s a certain artfulness and craftsmanship that isn’t possible now,” she told Forbes two years ago. “There was a time when everything was made with a certain aesthetic for beauty and art, and there are a lot of modern things that that’s not important to the people designing them.”

The '39 Packard 120 sedan in French Blue was one of her favorites, and Von Tesse deployed it in a number of photo shoots, but according to the listing, her recent purchase of a '40 Cadillac droptop required some winnowing of the herd. Overall, the Packard looks to be in good shape, and with a 10-year-old restoration, isn't so pristine to suggest a future life as a museum piece. The auction price has passed $23,000, which is a little dear for a Packard of this vintage, but collectors know there's some extra value in buying from an owner who appreciates the past.

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